Superman and Thor have meet before, in the incredible JLA/AVENGERS miniseries, by Kurt Busiek and George Perez. In that book, the first meeting between the two teams does not go so well.
And Superman and Thor have a one-on-one fight, that ends with Superman standing victorious over Thor’s unconscious body. Which Thor’s fellow Avengers don’t appreciate.
I’ll tell ya who else didn’t appreciate it: hardcore Thor fans. I’ve seen Kurt Busiek get flamed on various message boards like Comicbookresources, by fans angry with how that fight turned out. Marvel editor Tom Breevort has likewise been attacked. If you ever wonder where the stereotypical “nerd” image of comic-book fans come from, just read some of their reactions.
I’ve taken it up with Busiek myself once, on a message board, saying not that I disagree with the outcome of the fight, I think Superman’s speed would be a huge advantage as, theoretically, Thor should barely be able to even touch him, just with the way the fight was written. For example, I don’t think Superman should have so easily survived a full hit directly in the face by Thor’s hammer, nor be able to stop it with one hand. I think the fight was also hurt a bit by Superman’s trash-talking during the fight, where he belittled Thor. Busiek explained that both Superman and Captain America acted out of character in this miniseries, because being in different universes than their own was messing with their minds, or something, but it didn’t seem that clear to me in the actual comic. It just came off as if Superman was saying that beating Thor was easy, which understandably pissed off Thor fans. Sure, at the end, Superman says Thor is the toughest opponent he ever fought, but it sure doesn’t look like it was.
Another, somewhat unavoidable, problem is that the fight was too short. In a book like that, with so many characters (and, apparently, a corporate mandate was to have the series include an appearance of every single hero who had ever been a member of the JLA or Avengers by the time the miniseries was published), there just wasn’t enough time to properly devote to each character, so some scenes were cut shot. I mean, a no holds barred fight between Superman and Thor should take up an entire issue, not a couple of pages.
Well, what’s done is done. And while it seems unlikely that there will be any more crossovers between Marvel and DC in the foreseeable future, I think a Superman/Thor team-up would be pretty profitable for both companies right now, particularly with the higher profile of each character thanks to the recent movies. For the record, I would avoid any type of rematch of their fight from JLA/Avengers. This is Superman AND Thor, not Superman VS. Thor. Besides, as I’ve mentioned in previous entries in this category, I think the cliche of the heroes meeting and fighting each other due to a misunderstanding and then teaming up to fight a common enemy is played out, and I’d prefer to avoid it.
I’m thinking, story wise, let’s say Darkseid invades and conquers Asgard (possibly with Loki helping him), with only Thor escaping and enlisting Superman to help him take it back.
For the creative team, I’d want Dan Jurgens to write it, as he has had extensive experience writing both characters (his Thor run, especially during the last few years, is highly underrated), and I’d want John Romita Jr. to draw it. I loved Romita JR.’s work on Thor, and would love to see him tackle not only Superman, but Darkseid and the New Gods. And I’m envisioning scenes that mix the two characters’ mythologies, like Thor vs. a pack of Parademons and Superman vs. Frost Giants. It could be really epic, if done right.
Just my opinion.